Cheltenham Festival: St Patrick’s Day Results 2022
The Cheltenham Festival transformed into a sea of green on St Patrick’s Day Thursday. The Guinness was flowing, Irish folk songs echoed throughout the Festival Village and, of course, the action on course garnered just as much attention.
If Thursday was to give as many winners to the Irish as the actual St Patrick’s Day, then the Prestbury Cup would be all but over going into the final day of the Festival.
Turners Novices’ Chase – 13:30
Winner: Bob Olinger
The atmosphere had never been so incredible for a novice chase on St Patrick’s Day Thursday, with two previous Festival winners having at it in this explosive format.
All eyes were on Willie Mullins-trained Galopin Des Champs and Henry de Bromhead’s Bob Olinger.
Galopin Des Champs has had a fantastic season, remaining unbeaten in four of his last races, and Mullins was hoping for a fifth. But Turners Novices’ Chase was full of drama.
The stands were already preparing for Galopin Des Champs’ procession. He fired forward three from home, widening the gap between himself and Bob Olinger. The winning post was in sight. There were at least ten lengths between him and Bob but then unbelievable scenes.
Galopin went down at the final hurdle, and Bob Olinger gets a massive slice of fortune!
It’s heartbreak for Galopin Des Champs and a stroke of luck for Rachael Blackmore, who said:
“I didn’t get into as good a rhythm as I would’ve liked. I don’t really know what to say. It’s fantastic to have won, a stroke of luck.”
Bob Olinger remains unbeaten in unfortunate conditions.
Pertemps Network Final Handicap Hurdle – 14:10
Winner: Third Wind
The Pertemps Network Final Handicap is always a hotly contested race, which the Irish have dominated in recent years, but all of that changed at the 2022 Cheltenham Festival.
Sire du Berlais was the bookie’s favourite, with punters also eyeing Allaphillipe, but it was 20-1 favourite Third Wind and Tom O’Brien that stole the limelight on St Patrick’s Day.
Kansas City Chief led the pack for the majority of the race, but the tension increased with one fence to go. Honest Vic notched it up a gear, Allaphillipe came out of the pack, and Mill Green challenged for the lead.
It was chaos at the final hurdle but Tom O’Brien pushed his charge forward, running down rival Allaphillipe on the way home.
During an interview with Sky Sport after the race, Tom O’Brien said:
“I’m lost for words – over the moon. I couldn’t even celebrate after crossing the line, I still can’t believe it.”
The Ryanair Steeple Chase – 14:50
Money was changing hands at lightning speed in the better room, with some six-figure bets placed on Willie Mullins-trained Allaho.
Allaho’s a specialist at the 2.5-mile test, and the 5-2 favourite made the trip look easy once again.
He won the Ryanair Chase a year ago and ran to his form in the 2022 Cheltenham Festival, breaking the line early on in the race and remaining out front to win by a clear margin.
Allaho dominated the field, and jockey Paul Townend made the most of his stamina, shrugging off pressure to achieve back-to-back victories. Allaho’s a spectacular jumper, and he showed exceptional experience at the final fence, just like he did last year under Rachael Blackmore.
It’s back-to-back victories for Mullins in the Ryanair Chase.
The Paddy Power Stayers’ Hurdle – 15:30
Winner: Flooring Porter
Flooring Porter floored the field in the Stayers’ to retain his title.
Champ challenged from the right, Klassical Dream was on his tail, and even previous Stayers’ Hurdle winner Paisley Park attempted to pressure, but the now two-time Stayers’ Hurdle champion never saw a rival.
Flooring Porter set the pace early in the race and remained the frontrunner through to the finish. It was one of the greatest rides we’ve seen at the Cheltenham Festival in recent years and the first dual Cheltenham Festival winner for trainer Gavin Cromwell.
It also marked a landmark occasion for jockey Danny Mullins who earned his second back-to-back victory in the race after pairing up with Flooring Porter at last year’s Festival. The Irish were singing in wild celebration following the result on St Patrick’s Day.
“Everything went to plan. I love the horse. His training is the reason he’s here today, Gavin’s done a fantastic job.”
It’s all about Ireland today, with Britain 7-11 Ireland for the Prestbury Cup.
Craft Irish Whiskey Co. Plate Handicap – 16:10
Winner: Coole Cody
One for the British – or the Welsh, rather! Evan Williams-trained Coole Cody showed his class, romping to glory in the newly sponsored Craft Irish Whiskey Plate.
Coole Cody already has a fantastic record around this track, and despite being 11 years old, he shows no signs of slowing down. He had the advantage early in the race, but with two to go, he looked in danger.
Rival, Imperial Alcazar, came fast on the approach and looked like he was about to make quick work of Adam Wedge’s charge, but Coole Cody refused to lie down.
After slipping behind, he powered ahead in an unrelenting gallop to go four clear of challenger Imperial Alcazar and storm home in the colours of owner Wayne Clifford.
Jockey Adam Wedge expertly plotted his course – an absolutely phenomenal ride!
The Mares Novices Hurdle – 16:50
Winner: Love Envoi
A big field, with 19 runners including the hot favourite Dinoblue, trained by Willie Mullins, and the race was looking to go her way until the final fence.
Love Envoi stormed down the famous Cheltenham straight, leaving the rest of the field in the dust to claim the Mares Novices Hurdle by a clear margin.
Nico de Boinville and Ahorsewithnoname did well to make up serious ground in the final stages, but the gap was just too wide. Dinoblue couldn’t even land a top-three spot, and the lack of experience was a little telling.
Love Envoi’s trainer Harry Fry and jockey Jonathan Burke were understandably delighted with the result. It was a fabulous ride.
Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup – 17:30
Winner: Chambard (FR)
A fantastic race to finish another memorable day at Cheltenham.
Chambard, of the Lucy Turner and Venetia Williams camp takes first place. Mister Coffey and Didero Vallis placed 2nd and 3rd respectively.
Three days down and one to go, the blue riband awaits, Cheltenham Gold Cup Day…